Poolaw, Pascal Cleatus, Sr., 1SG Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
11G-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Last Unit
1967-1967, 11G, 1st Infantry Division
Service Years
1942 - 1967



First Sergeant


Eight Service Stripes



Eight Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Year of Birth
1922
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Apache

Casualty Date
Nov 07, 1967
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Location
Vietnam, South
Conflict
Vietnam War/Counteroffensive, Phase III Campaign 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968 VSM Streamer
Location of Interment
Fort Sill National Cemetery - Elgin, Oklahoma
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Belgian Fourragere US Army Retired (Pre-2007) 1st Infantry Division 4th Infantry Division

25th Infantry Division


 Unofficial Badges 



 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 3rd Award

Rifle
Recoilless Rifle
Auto Rifle
Small Bore Rifle
Mortar
 

 
 Unit Assignments
3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment4th Infantry Division1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning Division)
1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment1st Infantry Division
  1943-1945, 604, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
  1943-1945, 745, 4th Infantry Division
  1950-1950, 1745, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment/C Company
  1950-1951, 1745, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning Division)
  1951-1952, 1542, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning Division)
  1967-1967, 11G, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment/C Company
  1967-1967, 11G, 1st Infantry Division
 Combat and Operations History
  1944-1944 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Normandy Campaign 6 June to 24 July 1944 WWII Streamer
  1944-1944 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign 25 July to 14 September 1944 WWII Streamer
  1944-1945 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign 15 September 1944 to 21 March 1945 WWII Streamer
  1944-1945 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace Campaign 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945 WWII Streamer
  1945-1945 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign 22 March to 11 May 1945 WWII Streamer
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive 27 June-15 September 1950
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive 16 September-2 November 1950
  1951-1951 Korean War/1st Chinese Spring Offensive
  1951-1951 Korean War/UN Summer-Fall Offensive 9 July-27 November 1951
  1951-1951 Korean War/1st Chinese Spring Offensive
  1951-1951 Korean War/First UN Counteroffensive 25 January-21 April 1951
  1951-1952 Korean War/Second Korean Winter 28 November 1951-30 April 1952
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign 1 July 1966 to 31 May 1967 VSM Streamer
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive, Phase III Campaign 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968 VSM Streamer
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
First Sergeant Pascal Poolaw, a veteran of WW2, Korean War and the Vietnam War, was killed in action on November 7th, 1967. 1SG Poolaw has been honored many times since his death. He is believed to be the most decorated Native American to have served in the United States Armed Forces. Including among his 42 ribbons, medals and decorations are 22 for combat service. He came out of retirement in the middle 60's and volunteered for assignment to Vietnam in an effort to avoid his four son's who were on active duty, from being assigned to combat  duty. He died while evacuating wounded members of his Battalion from the battlefield. Several members of his unit were killed on that day, including the Battalion Commander. First Sergeant Poolaw died a hero at the age of 45. He is buried in the Post Cemetary on Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
   
Comments/Citation

FIRST SERGEANT PASCAL POOLAW WAS LIKE A FATHER OR BIG BROTHER TO THOSE WHO SERVED WITH HIM. THERE WAS NEVER ANY CONFUSION AS TO WHO WAS IN CHARGE. THIS HERO, A FULL BLOODED KIOWA, DIED WITH HIS BOOTS ON AND WILL ALWAYS BE A BRAVE SOLDIER TO EVERYONE WHO KNEW HIM. MAY HE FOREVER REST IN PEACE.


The most decorated Native American Indian in US history. He was a full blooded Kiowa Indian, son of Ralph Poolaw Sr and grandson of "Kiowa George" Poolaw, who served in the All Indian Cavalry Troop 1 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He joined the Army August 27, 1942 and served in three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He received a battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant in the Korean War but later relinquished his commission. He is one of the few men who ever wore the Combat Infantry Badge with 2 stars. He retired from the US Army in 1962 but reenlisted a few years later to serve in Vietnam. His awards include the Combat Infantry Badge with 2 stars, the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star with a V device and 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with a V device and 2 Oak Leaf Cluster2 and the Purple Heart with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. His was married to Irene Chalepah, of Apache lineage, on March 15, 1940. They had 4 sons, all of who served in the US Army, 3 of which served in Vietnam. Poolaw Hall at Fort Sill, Oklahoma is named in his honor and contains an exhibit dedicated to this American Indian soldier. He was also inducted into the American Indian Hall of Fame in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The citation for his first Silver Star, which was earned during World War II, reads as follows; The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Pascal Cleatus Poolaw (ASN: 18131087), United States Army, for gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with Company M, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, near Recogne, Belgium, on 8 September 1944. While attacking in support of a rifle company, Sergeant Poolaw displaced his machine gun squad forward across an open field under heavy mortar and small arms fire in such a manner as to effect a minimum number of casualties among his squad. After reaching his new position, Sergeant Poolaw saw the enemy advance in a strong counterattack. Standing unflinchingly in the face of withering machine gun fire for five minutes, he hurled hand grenades until the enemy force sustained numerous casualties and was dispersed. Due to Sergeant Poolaw's actions, many of his comrades' lives were saved and the company was able to continue the attack and capture strongly defended enemy positions. Sergeant Poolaw's display of courage, aggressive spirit and complete disregard for personal safety are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service. The citation for his second Silver Star, earned in Korea, is as follows; The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Sergeant First Class Pascal Cleatus Poolaw (ASN: 18131087), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On 19 September 1950 when the company attack on an enemy position was halted by stiff enemy resistance, Sergeant First Class Poolaw volunteered to lead his squad in an assault. Courageously leading his men in a charge up the slope to penetrate the enemy perimeter and engage the numerically superior enemy in fierce hand-to-hand combat, Sergeant First Class Poolaw inspired his men to hold their position until the remainder of the company was able to seize the objective. Sergeant First Class Poolaw's outstanding leadership reflects great credit upon himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the American Soldier. The citation for his 3rd Silver Star, also earned in Korea, is as follows; The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star to Master Sergeant Pascal Cleatus Poolaw (ASN: 18131087), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company C, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On 4 April 1951 near Chongong-ni, Korea, while attacking strong hostile positions, one squad of Master Sergeant Poolaw's platoon was immobilized by a devastating automatic weapons and mortar barrage. Exposing himself to the deadly fire, he slowly advanced across open terrain, firing his rifle as he progressed. By deliberately diverting the attention of the foe to himself, he enabled his men to maneuver to more advantageous positions. Master Sergeant Poolaw's valorous actions were instrumental in the fulfillment of the unit mission and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American Soldier. The citation for his 4th Silver Star, awarded posthumously for action in Vietnam, is as follows; The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First Sergeant Pascal Cleatus Poolaw (ASN: 18131087), United States Army, for gallantry in action against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 November 1967, while serving with Company C, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On this date, during Operation SHENANDOAH II, First Sergeant Poolaw was accompanying his unit on a two-company search and destroy mission near Loc Ninh. As the patrol was moving through a rubber plantation, they were subjected to sniper fire. Within minutes, the area was raked with intensive claymore mine, rocket, small arms, and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior Viet Cong force. First Sergeant Poolaw unhesitatingly ran to the lead squad which was receiving the brunt of the enemy fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he exposed himself to assist in deploying the men and establishing an effective base of fire. Although wounded, he continued to move about the area encouraging his men and pulling casualties to cover. He was assisting a wounded man to safety when he was mortally wounded by Viet Cong fire. His dynamic leadership and exemplary courage contributed significantly to the successful deployment of the lead squad and undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. First Sergeant Poolaw's unquestionable valor in close combat against numerically superior hostile forces is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army. It should be noted that in the ferocious fighting at the Battle of Loc Ninh where he earned his 4th Silver Star and 3rd Purple Heart, it also resulted in the awards of 1 Medal of Honor, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses and one other Silver Star. 14 other US Army soldiers also lost their lives in that engagement. In wife Irene's eulogy at his funeral she said, "He has followed the trail of the great chiefs. His people hold him in honor and highest esteem. He has given his life for the people and the country he loved so much." (bio by: Robert Fowler) 

   
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